Armstrong v. Elmore, WD

Citation990 S.W.2d 62
Decision Date16 February 1999
Docket NumberNo. WD,WD
PartiesRick ARMSTRONG, Appellant, v. Joan ELMORE, in her capacity as Adair County Clerk, Respondent. 55655.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)

Page 62

990 S.W.2d 62
Rick ARMSTRONG, Appellant,
Joan ELMORE, in her capacity as Adair County Clerk, Respondent.
No. WD 55655.
Missouri Court of Appeals,
Western District.
Feb. 16, 1999.

Page 63

Randall Brown, Columbia, for appellant.

John Jay Benson, Kirksville, for respondent.



Rick Armstrong, a citizen, registered voter and taxpayer of Adair County, appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Joan Elmore, in her capacity as the Adair County Clerk. Mr. Armstrong sought a writ of mandamus in the trial court to compel the County Clerk to place on the April 7, 1998 "municipal election" ballot a question regarding the repeal of an existing sales tax, the proceeds of which were designated to benefit law enforcement services and to fund the expansion of the county's detention center or possibly to construct a new facility. Mr. Armstrong claims on appeal that the trial court erred in granting the County Clerk's motion for summary judgment 1 because Article III, section 49 of the Missouri Constitution and section 67.582, RSMo 1994, provide that a law enforcement sales tax passed under section 67.582 may be repealable by ballot initiative. Because the controversy is moot, the appeal is dismissed.

In 1997, numerous residents of Adair County, who opposed the decision by Adair County officials to build a new jail facility near Kirksville's public schools, circulated a petition to obtain signatures of registered voters of the county to submit to the County Clerk a proposed ballot question regarding the repeal of a county law enforcement sales tax. The proposed ballot question stated:

Shall the County of Adair repeal the existing county wide law sales tax of one-half of one percent (.005) adopted for the purpose of providing law enforcement services and for future expansion of the detention center for the County?

Rick Armstrong, the appellant, delivered to the County Clerk the petition consisting of 219 pages and containing 1,927 signatures on December 24, 1997. The County Clerk acknowledged receipt of the petition without verifying the signatures. Mr. Armstrong subsequently notified the County Clerk that the petition contained four duplicate pages and that the petition actually contained 1,906 signatures on 215 pages. The County Clerk hand-delivered a letter to Mr. Armstrong on January 22, 1998, stating, "the Petition presented does not legally...

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49 cases
  • Kinder v. Nixon, WD56802
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 30, 2000 the legality of the contract were based cannot occur. Mootness is a threshold question in appellate review. Armstrong v. Elmore, 990 S.W.2d 62, 64 (Mo. App. W.D. 1999). Mootness implicates the justiciability of a case. Id. "In terms of justiciability, a case is moot if a judgment rendere......
  • Robinson v. Missouri State Highway and Transportation
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 4, 2000 Although efforts of judicial economy are very much appreciated, we are not authorized to issue advisory opinions. Armstrong v. Elmore, 990 S.W.2d 62, 64 (Mo. App. 1999). The trial court's ruling as to the issue of punitive damages was totally extraneous to its ruling on the issue of lia......
  • State v. Jones
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • November 9, 2021
    ...essential to appellate jurisdiction." State ex rel. Reed v. Reardon , 41 S.W.3d 470, 473 (Mo. banc 2001) (quoting Armstrong v. Elmore , 990 S.W.2d 62, 64 (Mo. App. W.D. 1999) ). And a claim is moot when it has "no practical significance [and is purely] hypothetical or academic." Moot , Blac......
  • State v. Galkowski
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 29, 2014
    ...Court that the amendment to the ballot language was improper could have no affect on the April 2nd election. See Armstrong v. Elmore, 990 S.W.2d 62, 64 (Mo.App.W.D.1999). Because we cannot grant any relief to Appellants, it appears that this appeal is moot. 10. For ease of analysis, we addr......
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